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See what’s popular among friends: Utopic.me preview

Ever wondered, what’s popular among your friends right now? Which links are they sharing and reading? Which music listening to? What events are being attended? Even the simplest question – what movies your friends watch and like – has not had a good online solution.

We’ve now launched an early pre-beta preview of Utopic.me: a new service to see the hottest topics among your friends. You can browse the most popular links, videos, music, movies & events, shared and liked by your friends. You’ll get a personalized real-time view of what’s trending today among people who matter to you the most. Kudos to my exceptional team: frontend guy Veli and backend guy Janek, who made all this magic happen!

Utopic.me

Please test Utopic out and give some feedback, what you liked and what not, what should be added or changed. Feel free to also like us on Facebook or follow on Twitter.

Some of the problems we try to solve:

  • Have one service to unite everything popular amond your social network, not having to go to ten separate vertical websites.
  • Group popular items shared by your friends by object categories, be it videos, music, events or movies (others to be added later). We believe there’s currently no good services to see that kind of distribution. Head to Utopic sub-pages to see that in action.
  • See only the popular stuff that people interact with daily or weekly. Services like Twitter and Facebook are oveloaded with postings and many of us don’t really have time to go them through.
  • Make people tell their friends more, what do they actually like. Still we try to keep manual action to a minimum (see the end of this post).
  • Have a beautiful user interface with large photos, not just silly small thumbnails. You’ll be amazed how much visual content you currently miss even in your Facebook newsfeed.
  • Be usable across platforms: you can already use Utopic on iPad, Iphone and other mobile platforms just by going to utopic.me. Hopefully we’ll have faster native apps in the future as well.

Utopic is still a baby, so you’ll see a lot of things added over the coming weeks. Everything is not perfect yet, be it the popularity algorithms or general functionality (or the speed of IE, grr). Many things are still on todo list. For now, take it as it is, really a preview of things to come.

Currently we work mostly with Facebook data about you and your friends, but other data sources like Twitter, Youtube etc will be added soon. The goal is to have a quick view of popular topics among your friends across different websites. The preview might be Facebook newsfeed centric (although we process more than that, for example the likes, events & photos of your friends), but as we add more external interfaces, this will be changing.

Here’s how Utopic looks on iPhone:

Utopic iPhone login screen

Utopic iPhone content screen

Back in January 2010 I wrote about issues online I would like to be solved, first one of them being:

“Automatically collected structured recommendations and top lists from friends. How often have you wished to know, what your friends read, listen to, watch? Until we have to manually rate or like stuff, it will not work. More data must be collected and processed automatically, transparently.”

Year later, I still stand by that and would love to see the problem solved, with as little additional workload put on users. It’s so easy to say people have to share & vote, but who likes that? Utopic is one try to do that as smoothly as possible.

Now head to Utopic.me and tell me what you think. Any questions?

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